Tuesday, July 28, 2009

11 Maoists transferred

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Cuttack, July 27: Alarmed by reports of Naxalites planning to storm Ragadi jail to whisk away their comrades lodged there, Jajpur police shifted 11 Maoists to Choudwar Circle Jail, 12km from here last evening.

The transfer was carried out in secret and under high security cover.

The Choudwar circle jail superintendent D.D. Das confirmed the report of the transfer to The Telegraph today and said the jail had received 11 undertrial prisoners from Ragadi sub-jail.

Official sources said the undertrial prisoners included core commanders of Kalinga Nagar Area Committee (Knac) that operates in Jajpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and parts of Mayurbhanj.

Those transferred included Braja Hembram, Chakradhar Haiburu (junior), Suresh Haibrur, Sambhunath Murmu, Silu Champia, Kuna Gundua, Sanjay Gagrai, Bikash Tudu and Samrat Tudu.

The 11 were lodged at Jajpur district jail after being nabbed some six months ago, but were shifted to Ragadi sub-jail after it was inaugurated on July 13.

However, recent intelligence reports of rebels planning to break into the jail to release their comrades had alarmed the Jajpur police.

The final push came with the arrest of sub-inspector Ghanashyam Hesa of Kalinganagar police station who was sent to Ragadi sub-jail on Saturday on charges of raping an 18-year-old tribal girl.

“The superintendent of police did not wish a sub-inspector and Maoist leaders and cadre to stay in the same jail, as the officer was responsible for putting some of those people behind bars,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

Jajpur police on Saturday moved the local judicial magistrate with a plea to allow officers shift the Maoist cadre and leaders out of the sub-jail citing security issues. Soon after the magistrate gave his permission, the police moved out the 11 men.

The sub-jail at Ragadi has a capacity to house 300 inmates and is 6km from Jajpur Road Town.

It is close to the forests bordering Keonjhar district, a proximity that makes several officers uneasy.

The circle jail at Choudwar on the other hand is overcrowded with over 12,00-odd prisoners, though facilities exist for only 750.

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